1. Contact one friend and one family member.
Text or WhatsApp and say hello to a family member and friend. This will take no more than a few minutes each day. Ask them how they are, ask them what’s new. Ask them how you can help them.
You are not the only one with painful thoughts racing through your head. If during your interaction you are able to listen deeply and fully connect with them, who knows? You may be able to express the words that they want to hear.
2. Develop an attitude of gratitude.
Every morning I ask myself what three things I am grateful for from the day before, what two things (if achieved) will make my day great, and what one thing I am grateful for about this morning. Some people write this down, I say this to myself and find this works just as well. This puts me in a positive frame of mind before I have even started the day.
3. Perform three acts of kindness.
These can range from the very small to the very big. When we are self-obsessed, we think of ourselves all the time and often feel bad as a result; when we are kindness-obsessed, we think of others and feel the joy of making them smile. Helping others helps yourself, period. It may seem selfish to think of it that way, but if you can help yourself and someone else at the same time, why not?
4. Do twenty minutes of exercise that you enjoy.
People often give up on their fitness plan because they do exercise that they don’t enjoy. And it’s a shame because exercise is not only good for your body, but also your mental health. Stick to what you like (in my case swimming), and you’ll find adopting the exercise habit more fun—and more lasting.
5. Read aloud for three minutes.
Find something you enjoy and read aloud for three minutes (or as long as you can muster). Stand up straight and tall and take pride in reading, as you may have done when you were a child. This will boost your confidence, and developing this habit will also help instil a small level of self-discipline. It’s an easy thing to achieve this each day, and something you can feel good about.
6. Read fiction at bedtime.
This promotes sleep, releases worry and anxiety, and allows you to unwind so you’re ready to face the next day afresh. It also helps to turn off your mobile devices and T.V. one hour before bedtime.
If you do all of the above daily and start feeling the benefits, it will be easier to tell yourself “Everything is going to be alright.” After doing this for a while, I am sure it will be. Try the ideas that work; disregard the ones that don’t.
All of the above have worked for me. While I still want a pat on the shoulder and people to tell me things will be alright, I now know I can tell myself this, and feel better for being able to do so.
- Sample Category #1